To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

John William Finn, Oldest Medal Of Honor Recipient, Dies at 100

John William Finn was stationed on Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. After the Japanese attack began he manned a .50 Caliber machine gun in an open position to take careful aim at the Japanese attack planes.  He received 21 distinct wounds during two hours of manning his position.
"I got that gun and I started shooting at Jap planes," Finn said in a 2009 interview. "I was out there shooting the Jap planes and just every so often I was a target for some," he said, "in some cases, I could see [the Japanese pilots'] faces."
 Collier, Peter (2006). Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty 
 After receiving medical care he went back to work arming the remaining American planes. I would say this is a True American, but according to his own words from Collier,
"That damned hero stuff is a bunch crap, I guess. [...] You gotta understand that there's all kinds of heroes, but they never get a chance to be in a hero's position."
 Here is his Medal Of Honor Citation
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Entered service at: California. Born: 23 July 1909, Los Angeles, Calif. Citation: For extraordinary heroism distinguished service, and devotion above and beyond the call of duty. During the first attack by Japanese airplanes on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, on 7 December 1941, Lt. Finn promptly secured and manned a .50-caliber machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavy enemy machinegun strafing fire. Although painfully wounded many times, he continued to man this gun and to return the enemy's fire vigorously and with telling effect throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks and with complete disregard for his own personal safety. It was only by specific orders that he was persuaded to leave his post to seek medical attention. Following first aid treatment, although obviously suffering much pain and moving with great difficulty, he returned to the squadron area and actively supervised the rearming of returning planes. His extraordinary heroism and conduct in this action were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

No comments: